Wanna Know Why You Can't Lose Weight? Shut Your Yap and Read

Do you get enough of the right kind of exercise? Current guidelines say you should get two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, or a combination of both every week. But what exactly do "moderate" and "vigorous" mean?

I was a little unsure on the specifics myself but I found the perfect way to remember. It's called the Talk Test. Yep, you can determine your level of exercise based on how much you can run your mouth. For me, nothing could be clearer. I love to chit chat when I exercise with a friend. And now I gauge my workout intensity by whether or not I can finish telling a juicy story.


Here's how the Talk Test works:

If you’re doing moderate-intensity activity, you can talk, but not sing. (Go ahead -- Chit chat away!)

If you’re doing vigorous-intensity activity, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. (Gossip to be continued later.)

To clarify even more, here are some examples of both types of activities:

Talking Activities

Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking)
Water aerobics
Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour
Tennis (doubles)
Ballroom dancing
General gardening

Can't Talk Activities

Race walking, jogging, or running
Swimming laps
Tennis (singles)
Aerobic dancing
Bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster
Jumping rope
Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing)
Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

I usually walk briskly, which you see is listed in the moderate category. That way I can get a good workout and still catch up on what's happening with my friends.

What do you prefer -- moderate or vigorous exercise?


Image via St. Vincent de Paul Louisville/Flickr

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